Economic Trinity: The Son

We walked through the doctrine of the Trinity, but really only focused on the essence of it.

There is another side to this discussion that can be missed that is of great importance --- what the three persons of the Trinity do.  Their works.

The first aspect of the Trinity is known as the “ontological Trinity.”

The second aspect is known as the “economic Trinity.”  And we did one podcast on the works of the Father.

Why study this?  Actually it is because God is not revealed as a deistic god --- meaning God is merely present and responsible for creation but not involved or really interested in it.

By the way, many today in the Church would fall under this idea of deism far more than they might like to admit.

Whenever you diminish the reality of God’s presence and interest in the activities and thoughts of both nations and individuals you are functioning in a deistic manner.

There is a great term in Latin, Coram Deo, which simply refers to the fact that every person is called to live with the understanding that all that they are and do occurs in the presence of God and it is to be for His glory and under His authority.  It is the essence of Romans 1.

Everything you see and don’t see is under the scrutiny of God and it is a worthy task to just shut up and stop regularly to simply contemplate what that looks like at any given moment.

The Works of the Son

We focused an entire episode on the Son’s deity as Jesus Christ, but the reality is that many will reject His deity because of a confusion between the two aspects of the Trinity.

Example: The Jehovah's Witnesses attempt to show Jesus as less than God because He does nothing on His own accord.

"Jesus therefore said, 'When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.'" (John 8:28-29)

The debate over the roles of men and women is another area of mixing up categories.  An example is the egalitarian feminist view that to subordinate the roles and functions of a woman as compared to a man is to diminish their essential being as bearers of God’s image. 

Complementarians point to the fact that the Son is equal with the Father but has differing roles from the Father. The end result is that many E.F. reject the idea of the economic Trinity.

Again…..theology matters.

The Subordination of The Son

He did, and does the will of the Father.

"Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.'"(Jn. 4:34)

"I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (Jn. 5:30)

"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."

(Jn. 6:38)

This doctrine of subordination is not teaching that the Son is in someway inferior to the Father.

In fact, it is used by the Apostle John to show the equality of Jesus with the Father.  Only in Western ears does this sound negative.

Even in eternity past we see evidence that the Son was willingly in a subordinate position.

This is seen in passages such as Eph. 1:4 where it is the Father who chooses or elects those who will be in Christ. Christ does not.  

The same in John’s gospel.  The Father is the one who gave those whom Jesus was to save.

The idea of doing the will of the Father is seen as such an important concept to Jesus, because it shows His sinlessness and perfect obedience. But it also connects to the lives of those who say they follow Christ.

Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

Matthew 12:50 "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.

This subordination of the Son to the Father’s will is also important to the assurance of our salvation.

John 6:39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day."

For those who wish to say that one who has been saved by Christ can be lost, they must be able to first give an answer to how Christ perfectly obeyed the will of the Father if He loses some who were given to Him.


All of this is important because you will see this subordination throughout the texts that we will consider.

Christ’s works and duties:

The Creator of the Universe

"All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." (Jn. 1:3)


"For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him." (Col. 1:16)

The Preserver of the Universe

"He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." (Col. 1:17)


"in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," (Heb. 1:2-3)

The Giver of Life

"For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 'For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 'Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.'"  (Jn. 5:21-27)

Note again the subordination of the Son here.

The Sin-Bearer

This is a big one because never does the bible make the Father the sin-bearer. And yet, the Oneness heresy makes Him that very thing. The only other option is to reject Jesus as God.  

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures," (1 Cor. 15:3)

"and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (1 Pet. 2:24)

The Redeemer

The idea behind the word for “redeem” is out of the slave market.

"If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." 

(1 Pet. 1:17-19)

"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,  and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, 'LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.'"

(1 Cor. 1:26-31)

Consider these words in verse 30 ---

“wisdom from God.”  Goes back to Paul’s point in vss. 23-24.  The believer, the One, Jesus Christ, who is foolish (and a point of stumbling for the unbeliever), is God’s wisdom to us.

 Christ is our . . . (three things).